The will to succeed proved powerful, as Sandra Barr-Atkinson of Brandon, completed her second full marathon this year. The first marathon Barr-Atkinson competed in was the qualifying run for the Boston Marathon in Manitoba and the second one was the very prestigious Boston Marathon.
Before deciding to take part in a full marathon Barr-Atkinson was very active in the running world, competing in one ultra and about five half marathons.
“I started running with friends and running groups,” said Barr-Atkinson. “It helped me become mentally stronger and believe that goals are reachable.”
Barr-Atkinson competed in the ages 50-54 division of the Boston Marathon and finished in 3:54:10 and hit the halfway point in 1:52:13. Keeping a steady pace of 8:56 a mile, she crossed the finish line in 275th place in her division and 14,434th overall.
“The Boston Marathon is huge, I never dreamed I would ever qualify. So when I did it was one of the things you have to do as you may never qualify again,” added Barr-Atkinson. “The Boston Marathon is quite an honour to be a part of and I feel very grateful.”
The weather at the Boston Marathon was an extremely large factor for most of the runners in the race, as it was the worst it has been in 40 years.
“The weather was the biggest factor for me, winters are warmer than what I ran in that day,” continued Barr-Atkinson. “I could not use my hands or feel my legs, it was definitely a factor for time… Many were treated for hypothermia; about 12,000.”
Although weather played a factor in the runners times, Barr-Atkinson powered through and completed her second marathon only a few minutes slower than her personal best time of three hours and forty-two minutes.
“The highlight was having my husband and two very good friends there with me, although it is very hard to find a highlight as the work you put into preparing is huge and there are so many great friends that were with me every training step of the way, I am forever grateful for that as well.”
With her second marathon in the rear view mirror the next one on the list has not been determined yet, although she thinks one in Manitoba sounds nice.
“I could not have done this without the training guidance, and support of Stacy Dittmer and one of the most encouraging and supportive running partners, Manuela Bootsman,” said Barr-Atkinson.